Lyons Water Polo: Parent Handbook
Welcome to our new members, and those who are returning, to the Lyons Water Polo Program. This Parent handbook will provide you with a few guidelines to help you and your child through the water polo seasons. Water polo is a great way of teaching your child to compete in a positive environment, develop long-lasting friendships, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
To obtain the full benefit of this water polo club will require a commitment from you to assist in all facets of the club’s activities. These will include some of the following:
- Getting your child to and from practices on time.
- Getting your child to and from games and tournaments.
- Volunteering your services at tournaments and other club activities
In order for you to “have fun” at tournaments and activities, participation is the key.
The Mission of the Lyons Water Polo Club is to develop the water polo skills of all of our members by stressing the fundamentals of the game and sportsmanship through the highest quality instruction from dedicated coaches to ultimately prepare our members to participate and compete at all levels.
The sport of water polo is “aquatic game in which two teams of seven swimmers attempt to push or shoot an inflated ball across each other’s goal line.”
During a game, players swim the entire game and cannot touch the bottom (depends on the pool) or sides of the pool, and only the goalie may handle the ball with two hands. Players use an “egg-beater” kick, a circular kicking stroke used for stability and support in treading water, this kick can propel a player up and out of the water for difficult and powerful shots. The object is to shoot the ball into the opponent’s net. Play consists of four quarters and breaks after each quarter.
This sport offers the opportunity for players to enjoy a life long love of the water. It is an extremely good way to get people feeling comfortable in the water and helps develop leg strength. Those who have played water polo have not only improved their swimming ability and fitness, but have also gained confidence in the water, and have enjoyed an invaluable experience from playing a team sport that emphasizes the Olympic Spirit.
The value of water polo lies within the excellent conditioning one receives and the game’s ability to keep swimmers of all ages interested in continuing with some form of aquatics. Water polo helps foster cooperation and camaraderie within a club structure.
Athletes are encouraged to attend practices regularly and participate in games and tournaments throughout the season. Many water polo games and tournaments are scheduled with area clubs to give as many opportunities for our athletes to develop their skills and game experience. All players will play in the games/tournaments but not all players will necessarily play the same amount of minutes. Some tournaments are more competitive (championships) and playing time may be dictated by the games.
Water polo is divided into age groups that are determined by the athlete’s birth date as of the date of specific tournaments through out the year. Players are often given the opportunity to play “up” into different age groups.
AGE GROUP- 14u, 12u, 10u
The Lyons Water Polo Club participates during the fall months (September-October) in the Midwest Zone League. This league allows for competition among the area water polo clubs on the weekends and concludes with the opportunity to play in the Midwest Zone Championships. The winter (November-February) and spring (April-May) months provide opportunities for our players to continue to improve through practices during the week and game scrimmages on some of the weekends. The summer months (June-July) also provides for more opportunities for our players to compete against area clubs. The summer season concludes with the opportunity to play in the National Junior Olympics.
HIGH SCHOOL- 18u, 16u
The Lyons Water Polo Club offers practice times throughout the year for high school players to practice and compete. During the fall and winter months, players practice twice a week and compete in the Illinois High School Leagues. The summer months provides players with more practice times and participation in the High School Summer League. The summer season concludes with the opportunity to play in the National Junior Olympics.
The game schedules for the various seasons are announced at the beginning of each season. Updates will be given out at practice, emailed to parents, and posted on the web page.
WATER POLO BOARD LIAISON
If parents have a concern or an issue about the coaches or the program they may direct their concerns to the Board Liaison or Head Coach. The Board Liaison will listen to your concern and will address it with the coach and/or Board President. A prompt and speedy response from the Board Liaison or Head Coach will hopefully satisfy all parties concerned.
- Doug Eichstaedt
- Lauren Burel
- Paul Busse
- Mark Forde
- Bryan Malas
- David Sekula
The Lyons Water Polo club is very proud of their coaching staff. Our professional coaches require United States Water Polo certification in order to coach for the club. The Coaches have years of experience, coaching different disciplines, developing skills, as well as living and breathing everything about water polo. They are all former and current players themselves and understand the pressures that sometimes upset the players. For these reasons, and many more, it is important to know that your kids are in very good hands. Please allow your kids to learn, do not walk on the deck and talk with your child during practice, and don’t yell over the railing. Allow the coach to deal with your child in a manner that suits them and their individual expertise. Coaches are looking to improve each and every player for the benefit of both the player and the club. If you wish to speak to a coach, please send an email or talk with the Head Coach after practice. You can also contact the Board Liaison with your concerns. Coaches will also reward your kids as a result of their hard work, not yours; allow your child the opportunity to earn this on their own merit by getting them to practice and games in a prepared and positive manner.
The best way to help a child achieve their goals and reduce the natural fear of failure is through positive reinforcement. No one likes to make a mistake. If your child does make one, remember that they are still learning. Encourage their efforts and point out the things they did well. As long as they gave their best effort, you should make them feel like a winner.
ROLE OF THE PARENT
Water polo programs provide many benefits to young athletes. They develop self-discipline, good sportsmanship, and time management skills. Competition allows the players to experience success and to learn how to deal with defeat, while becoming healthy and physically fit.
As a parent, your major responsibility is to provide a stable, loving, and supportive environment. This positive environment will encourage your child to continue. Show your interest by ensuring your child’s attendance at practices and tournaments.
Parents are not participants on their child’s team but contribute to the success o experienced by the child and his/her team. Parents serve as role models and their attitudes are often emulated by their children. Be aware of sportsmanship at all times towards Coaches, Officials, Opponents, and Teammates.
For all competitors, parents, spectators, coaches, and officials remember to:
Respect and understand the principles of good sportsmanship amongst all participants at all events.
Promote safety, ensure fun, enjoyment and good competition.
Eliminate behaviors and actions that detract from a positive environment.
Not tolerate abuse and/or harassment during tournaments from anyone.
Parents please remember:
Your child plays this sport for his/her enjoyment, not yours.
Encourage your child to compete by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
Teach your child that doing one’s best is as important as winning. Offer praise for competing fairly and trying hard.
Do not yell at or ridicule your child for making a mistake or losing a competition
Children learn best by example. Applaud all good competitive performances.
Do not force your child to participate in sports.
Respect and support ALL officials who participate in the game.
Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children’s sporting activities.
We have established several methods to communicate to the parents and players. The club website www.lyonswaterpolo.com or www.lyonsswimclub.com will have the most up-to-date information about the club, practices, and tournaments. We will also utilize email to communicate any news or updates about the club. The final method used is passing out information to players at practice so that they can take it home.
To run a water polo club requires a group of dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to make sure the practices, tournaments, events, and activities look like they run themselves.
All Lyons families are required to volunteer throughout the water polo season. There are many opportunities to become involved, if it is sitting at the admissions table or running the game clock, you are needed. When more people help out, the workload is lessened, the stress is lessened, and the end result is amazing.
When you have had a chance to see how the club runs, look for an area that needs your assistance and help out. We do want to thank you in advance for your assistance. The families are what make our organization so great.
There will be opportunities to order team suits, shirts, shorts, etc. during each water polo season. Order forms will be made available on our web site and passed out at practice. We would like all of our players to wear a team suit during competitions and be proud to wear the team apparel in and out of the pool.
LOST AND FOUND
If your player comes home without their suit, towel, shirt, etc. please check the pool deck the next day. All items will be stored at the pool for a few weeks before being donated.
States Water Polo
- American Water Polo